Lightning Returns: Luxerion (Taormina, Italy)

Finally going through photos clogging up my storage omg

Interestingly, LR seems to have a lot of Italian, Croatian, and Spanish influence despite them ending up in France at the end…

Here are photos of Taormina (a hilltop town in Sicily) and Luxerion—the latter is more like an almost-apocalyptic Taormina ^^; Actually, I was really surprised just how similar they look! I wonder if you agree?

piazza 9 taormina sicily.jpg

(Trip Advisor)

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(Culture Trip—I couldn’t find any comparison photos for this one because it’s so obscure)



(Trip Advisor)

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(Again, I couldn’t find a comparison photo but it reminded me of the shopping area!)


Taormina has even more to offer than this ^^ There’s an ancient Greek amphitheatre to see and also a very beachy area (like in Isola Bella)—you should definitely check it out!


“Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask”: Stone Tower (India’s Chand Baori)

It’s been awhile, huh? ^^;

Anyway, I stumbled upon this place and thought it looked much like the pre-temple Stone Tower (just replace the empty rooms with stairs).

So, first I’ll post the original:



And here’s Chand Baori:

chand baori India.jpg




“Tales of Xillia 2”: Bridge of Unity (the Great Western Arcade in Birmingham, England)

This will be sort of a mini-post because this is just a small place and not a city or detailed structure like the others I write about. Also, it was hard to find many pictures 😛

So, for a short introduction, the Bridge of Unity connects two lands in the video Tales of Xillia 2 (you may remember that I wrote about Kanbalar/Prague for the first Xillia). The Bridge of Unity is a covered area full of shops.


Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.49.58 AM Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 11.51.05 AM

(Wow, on a side note, I just accidentally how to insert more than one picture at once and side by side…)

The Great Western Arcade is a shopping arcade in Birmingham built in 1875-6, so it has a bit of a history. It’s located more specifically in Birmingham city centre, which is the business and shopping district of Birmingham. As this and the Bridge of Unity are both shopping arcades, I thought the two looked rather similar despite the coloring.

PM3072290BRITAIN-PHIL-IN Great_Western_Arcade_inside

“Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword”: Lanayru Mining Facility (???/In Which I Conduct Nerdy Research)

So I wasn’t sure WHAT this place was supposed to represent exactly, but I do know there is a lot of real-world cultural references with their own dash of Steampunk (or whatever) thrown in.

I digress.

Here’s the first picture I’ll be analyzing:


The blog “The Architecture of the Legend of Zelda” ( wrote, “…when translating the Ancient Hylian script upon the shipyard map in a further area of this desert, the word Dogu is unearthed. Dogu are humanoid (and animal) figurines found in Japan that date largely from the country’s prehistoric Jomon Period [~10,500-300BC].”

Here is a picture:


“Dogu” are clay figurines that were believed to channel healing magic. The Dogu would absorb the sickness or misfortune from the user and then destroy it.

The Lanayru robots, however, have a different twist on their design that isn’t too Japanese. The teal and orange coloring, and triangles, make me think of the Inca or Mesoamerica. In fact, Lanayru has style elements of the Americas in general–North, Meso, or South.

I found a piece of Inca art that bore a particular resemblance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for again, but I did find this piece of gold work:


This is a Tumi found in Peru (where the Inca live), an ornamental axe used for ceremonial sacrifices. It resembles both the Dogu and the robot in its arm position and eternally surprised facial expression. It’s actually strange how similar the Tumi and the Dogu look despite being across the world from each other (although the Jomon period occurred way before Inca culture c. 1200). Unlike the Japanese counterpart to the Lanayru robot, however, we see the teal and gold elements in the Inca design.

Sorry to turn this into an archeology/anthropology blog…

On to the next comparison!

lanayru deserts--suyu

(art at

Yes, this is the present Lanayru, but it is still divided into sections this way in the past (just with much more vegetation).

Still, I thought of the Inca yet again because this picture is like a microcosm of their country. Back when their civilization was thriving, their land was divided into four regions (Tawantinsuyu) all meeting at the capital city Cusco in the middle. I thought the above picture resembled that. Nothing else to really say here…

The next analysis will just examine the color schemes and patterning. I’ll throw some pictures at you and then write down some of my thoughts.





Once again, we have the presence of triangles (probably more to do with the Triforce theme than anything, but you know….) and the gold with red/orange-blue dynamic. There is also much usage of bronze, which was another common metal used by the Inca.

However, I also saw elements of Native American aesthetic. More spefically, I thought of the Nez Perce. I found this picture from the Nez Perce National Historical Park website and the resemblance is uncanny, in my opinion.


On the other hand, this Nez Perce style they commonly used in clothing is very different from what we’d see in Lanayru.

nez perce 1

Either way, we can conclude that Lanayru’s aesthetic is a hybrid with a focus on Inca.

Hopefully, this wasn’t too brief….just a quick survey, if you will, as I type away my thoughts.

Thank you for reading!

“Tales of Xillia”: Kanbalar (Prague, Czech Republic~wintertime)


Unfortunately, Prague doesn’t have any of those cool overhead bridges (as far as I know), but I’d say the general layout is pretty similar, which would be especially apparent if the pictures had the same lighting/angle.


I would say one of the most famous capital cities is a great comparison already for the great kingdom of Kanbalar, housing the king of one of the two large nations in the game. If Prague were in the mountains instead of by the water, it would be perfecto.

It was rather hard finding good pictures of the kingdom, so I’ll do my best…



With its snow-capped spires, cobblestone streets, and the romantic hue of its gas-lit street lamps, Prague is right out of a fairytale. - European Cities to Visit During the Winter

(Hopefully, this one isn’t blurry…)

And just like Kanbalar, the place even has its own castle:


Unlike Kanbalar, however, it isn’t located up in the mountains. The interior is equally gorgeous:

Sorry, let me just geek out for a moment…



Alright, we’ll finish off with what I assume to be a courtyard, which is very Kanbalar, in my opinion!


As a bonus, here is Prague when it’s not snowing!


“Final Fantasy X”: Zanarkand (Samarkand, Uzbekistan)

According to the Final Fantasy team, one major source of inspiration for Zanarkand was Samarkand (in more ways than just the name, of course)!

First, I’ll show you Zanarkand and then Samarkand:


rovine di zanarkand


(Zanarkand in all its HD about to be destroyed majesty)

And now for Samarkand!



So here we have the domes and the large square panels that we see in Zanarkand. Plus, there’s a hint of the cerulean that shows up more “futuristically” in Zanarkand as lights.



So…it’s far sandier and more beige than the Zanarkand we know and love, but what it has that the game’s city lacks is intricate artwork and design:


I see Zanarkand as Samarkand layered on, say, Dubai:


This came from the top of my head, so there might be somewhere more fitting, but I’d say Dubai suits Zanarkand pretty well!

‘Till next time~!

“Howl’s Moving Castle”: Market Chipping (Ribeauvillé, France)

Yes, my people, I have returned after a two-month absence! D:

Anyway, we return to another colorful town in France–Ribeauvillé, this time! Hayao Miyazaki, himself, was said to be inspired by it, so we know the comparisons are spot-on this time.

So, to refresh fans of the movie or to introduce those of you who haven’t seen it, here is the protagonist’s hometown (where the fateful encounter with the wizard, Howl, begins!), Market Chipping:



concept art, I believe?:


Now, for Ribeauvillé!

(a smattering of pictures in no particular order)


(from Wikipedia) (market chipping)






“Final Fantasy VII”: Wutai (Takkoku no Iwaya Bishamondo Temple in Hiraizumi, Japan) and Earth’s Wutai Mountain

Long name, right? Before I go into Wutai and the temple, I just want to note that Hiraizumi is known for its historical sites, so it would be so interesting to visit one day! Hopefully, I will be in Japan next year as planned…*crosses fingers*)

Ironically, I thought the real Wutai Mountain had less resemblance because it’s been so modernized in some parts. Well, I’ll put both places and you can be the judge.

First, Wutai in all it’s 1997 glory:





Now for the temple:










And now for the real life Wutai Mountain:





(both from

To be honest, it was a bit hard to find big pictures, so hopefully the resolution turns out well…


Two posts back to back…I usually don’t find resemblances so close to each other!

Well, until next time~~ mata postsuru hi made…..


“Final Fantasy VIII”: Winhill~(Bibury, England)

Every time I see a little European village, I always look to see if there’s some resemblance to Winhill–which is pretty hard, but one can only hope! The hardest thing about it is the cool town centre where the houses suddenly become German-looking.

HOWEVER! I saw one picture of the Gloucester village Bibury and immediately thought of the town beyond the bridge!

I’ll just go to posting pictures now:

Here’s Winhill:


Bibury is actually prettier in this case (usually animation has more color):


Also, the sad lonely areas:



(credit to some British tour guide named Rob, but actually his photos are pretty awesome XD

his site:

Bibury doesn’t quite have the same bridge:


(heh heh knowing Kiros, it’ll be a very snarky question! I love those two haha Also, is Laguna anyone else’s favorite character? Because he is definitely mine!)

Anyway, Bibury has its own lovely bridge!


(credit to Justin Albrecht)

Lastly, even though Bibury doesn’t have that cool town square, maybe you could google Bibury Court Hotel and see for yourself if they resemble each other (I was debating about it).

That’s all I have about Bibury and Winhill, so…

Ciao for now~~

“Up”: Paradise Falls~(Mount Roraima, Venezuela)

Everyone’s favorite pixar movie! (Oh no what debates have I sparked?)

I recently stumbled upon the fact that the Paradise Falls and the mountain it’s on was actually inspired by a real place in Venezuela on the Brazil and Guayana border called Mount Roraima (as the title says).

Here is Disney Pixar’s “Up” version:


I was actually debating whether it was the real thing or not because sometimes animation can be tricky XD

Now…for the real place:


Mount Roraima in Venezuela

It sort of looks like a floating island from this angle…

(found on

Note: Ah…finding the original photographer is always so hard because no one credits them so I just assume this picture can be used anywhere.)

Another “Up” comparison:


and for some flora focus like seen in the background of the movie stills:

(found on

Well, there is a sampling of some of the incredible scenes this mountain has to offer! I recommend looking up more about it because there were some shots I wanted to post, but they didn’t really fit in with “Up”–plus it’s pretty easy to find in a Google search…

Well, my fellow adventurers, we found Paradise Falls! Now how to get our houses afloat and steer all the way there is the next quest! XD

‘Til next time~

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